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Officials Seek Input to Update MWR Services

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2011 – Defense Department officials intend to use input gained from customer satisfaction surveys to bolster Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs and meet the up-to-date needs of service members and their families, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy said today.

Officials are electronically sending 600,000 surveys to military installations worldwide, Robert L. Gordon III said. The survey is the first of its kind to collect input from all components of the U.S. military, including National Guardsmen and reservists, he added.

The survey includes 135 questions that address a range of offerings from fitness centers to libraries, and automotive services to leisure activities.

Officials hope to have survey data returned in about three weeks, Gordon said.

“If [service members] can turn it around quickly, we can soon understand how we’re doing and see how we can get better,” he said. Sent randomly, the survey takes about 20 minutes to complete, he added, and the answers are kept confidential and anonymous.

“We want to get a sense of exactly what our service members and their families are using [at MWR] so we can tailor it to our multigenerational force,” Gordon said.

Recognizing the differences in multigenerational needs is essential to members of the armed forces, he noted.

“The younger service members might use different types of equipment in our fitness centers [than older troops], and library services is another area where our millennial generation –- ages 18 to 29 -- is more likely to use online service, while others use books,” he said.

The MWR survey does not include data from family members since valid contact information was not available for them. Because of this, Gordon emphasized that service members should keep their families in mind when filling out the survey.

“Don’t just think about yourself,” he said, “Think about your families. It’s important because we want to make sure your families have access to the very best services that we can provide them.”

Gordon noted the need for survey data. “In our last survey, we were able to pinpoint that our fitness centers were an area of concern for our service members and families, so we focused on that in terms of improvement across the force, and we intend to do the same with this survey.

“If you get it, please fill it out quickly, and know that your opinion counts and will make MWR better for you and your family members,” he added. “Quality of life is important to us.”

 

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Biographies:
Robert L. Gordon


Comments

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The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

6/22/2011 1:58:40 PM
I do not see anywhere in the press release that you are sending surveys to RETIREEs. There are a variety of MWR services that, due to RETIREEs usage and support, remain viable programs for AD [Compo 1] members and/or their families. Is that just an "oversight" on your part? Sincerely hope that RETIREEs are included in the survey.
- C.Martin, Walter Reed Army Medical Center

6/20/2011 11:22:00 PM
I am a parent to a young child with autism and since family members don't have access to this survey I have a comment that I hope someone will see. There are currently no recreation or sports programs on any of the bases in our area that I know of (we are AF in Colorado Springs) that cater to special needs children. Sports programs, especially during the holidays, are hard to come by for special needs children. Our only option until now has been private lessons, which doesn't help with social skills for our children, don't enable us parents to meet anyone and are very expensive. Programs known to help special needs children, such as swimming and gymnastics, as well as those more typical programs like t-ball or soccer would be a great addition.
- Sarah Stockwell, Colorado Springs

6/20/2011 5:49:19 PM
I have been in this area since 1983! I retired from the US Navy in 1993 and have been a contractor for the Gov't every since. I brought seven children up in this area, and believe me there is nothing for the Military Families to do unless they travel to Washington D.C. They could use more activities for the children to do so that they don't get involved with things they need not to do. They have a Drill Hall here at the base that gives them a little to do, I believe a better Bowling Center with more activites in it like more lanes this ally has 10 lanes which allows for the leagues to bowl Monday thru Friday then families get Friday night thr Sun. There is no arcades or pool tables for the teen to utilize so they have to go out in the community and find things to do. And believe you me there is nothing in this community to do. They have a small trashey Theatre and that is about it. Please help the children of the Parents that are fighting and protecting our country.
- Ron Thomas, Patuxent River Md. 20670

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